Monday, July 15, 2024

Basarwa not part of the December High Court judgment will not be allowed into CKGR

Sidney Pilane says government will not allow back into the Reserve those Basarwa who were not part of the applicants challenging government policy on their relocation from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

Speaking at a panel discussion organized by the University of Botswana Political Science Club last night, Pilane who is Special Advisor to President Festus Mogae said government is acting on the presumption that people who were not part of the applicants have nothing to complain about.
Anymore Basarwa wanting to go back will therefore have to make own fresh applications.

?Those who didn?t go to court had nothing to complain about. There is no reason why they should be allowed back into the Receive,? said Pilane.

He also lack of money could not have been the reason for such people to not have formed a part of the applicants as they had a benefactor in the form of Survival International willing to foot the costs.
Sidney Pilane was the government chief lawyer in a marathon case won by Basarwa at the High Court in Lobatse late last year.

?The people who went to court complained that they had been forced out of the Game Reserve. The court ruled in their favour, but we will not include anymore back intro the Reserve than the applicants,? said the flamboyant Pilane.

He said there is no reason why anybody could not have failed to be part of the applicants especially thee was a lot of money from Survival International; a London based Non Governmental Organisation that was ready to fully pay for their legal costs.

?Survival International was ready to pay for anyone who wanted to complain or go to court,? said Pilane emphatically.

He said it has since been established that even those Basarwa who won the case which the government has since said they are not appealing do not want to go back into the Reserve.

?A lot of campaign is ongoing to have them go back into the Reserve. But so far they are staying put,? he said.

The reason why Basarwa are not going back, said Pilane is because life inside the CKGR is inhospitable.

?Government does not provide services inside the Reserve. Such places are meant for wildlife.?
Pilane said there is no life to be had inside the Reserve.

?It is a life of poverty, suffering, no water, no food,? he said.

A group of 189 Basarwa, led by their leader Roy Sesana successfully challenged government to allow them back intro the Reserve, saying they had been forcibly relocated to camps outside the Reserve.

Although a panel of three judges found in their favor, government?s interpretation of the judgment is that there is no obligation to provide services such as water, food and other facilities for those who opt to stay inside.


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